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Photos and story by Janet Schultz
The Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education last week gave its approval to proceed with planning for an Adult Education Program for fall 2012, despite budget constraints.
Anita Muzzi, director of the program, presented the Board of Education with an overview of the program, which she developed two years ago. During that time, she explained, the program has been self-sufficient, and actually has brought in some net income.
N-W offered 115 classes this year with 56 held, 41 cancelled due to lack of interest and the rest are currently being registered for and will run in the next month.
"This is a focal point for our community," explained Muzzi. "There has been a 37 percent increase in enrollment in the two years. We have over 2,000 people taking classes."
The success of the program, Muzzi explained, is by offering a wide variety of programs and finding out where the interest is.
"You also have to make sure that you offer new and fresh classes to maintain the interest," she continued. "Once you offer the same thing over and over, enrollment drops."
Muzzi also pointed out that this year the program has not used the $10,000 it is allotted in the school budget; and she maintains that she probably won't need it next year, even though they put it in to the planning process in case it would be needed.
"Anita has done an outstanding job in only two years," said board member Kathy Fleming.
On a motion by board member Kristin MacKenzie, the board gave Muzzi their approval to move ahead and plan classes for the fall, and indicated that they would approve the program at a later meeting.
The board also recognized several students for outstanding achievement in art and business.
Senior Maggie Hempel and junior Mariah Scherrer earned recognition at the Bryant and Stratton 15th annual Digitalent digital design competition. Hempel took an honorable mention in the rasterized image category for her editorial illustration, and Scherrer took third place in the vectorized image category and an honorable mention for her editorial illustration.
Business students were recognized for their development of a business and the success they achieved from DECA, an academic club with 7,000 students taking part throughout the state.
Kayla Maggiore took first place in the state competition for her sales demonstration based on a fashion line she created. Also taking honors at the state level were Jenna Hussey and Cory Evans.
In local competition, Jordan Magil has the highest score out of 658 competitors and the two-man team of Dan Miera and Joe Yanuleich took the third-highest score. Others taking honors locally were Evans, Josh Treat, Mohit Gogna, Hussey, Nicole Golias, Katherine Arida and Maggiore.
Faculty member Kevin Schuber also recognized students who organized a Buffalo Sabres Alumni versus N-W faculty basketball game and basket auction, which allowed the students to donate $4,000 to the American Heart Association, and an additional sum of money went to the Niagara Wheatfield Athletic Department. He also recognized the students for their business, FalTech, which they developed from conception, to obtaining stockholders, developing a product, selling the product and dispersing their profits to shareholders, salesperson and to a charitable organization. The students created and sold fleece jackets.
"I can't thank the students enough for making our district what it is. We have the walls and the pillars, but it's you that make the Falcons, you have the wings," said Fleming. "You are not only proud of the school, you are proud of the community and just don't ever lose that. You are incredible."
In other board business, approval was given for several fundraisers, including the Senior High School Talent Show, with proceeds going to charity and the Children's Theatre, and a West Street Elementary School sale, with proceeds going to National Geographic "Cause an Uproar."
The board also approved the formation of the Niagara-Wheatfield Girls Soccer Booster Club.
The board went into executive session at 8 p.m. to discuss the search for a superintendent, a possible litigation within the school district and community education.
Board President Steven Sabo announced that they would meet for further review on the budget following the regular board meeting.
•The next regular meeting of the Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Adult Learning Center room at the high school, 2292 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn.